It’s the classic tale of girl meets vampire boy, vampire boy runs from girl, girl saves vampire boy from killing himself, dog boy falls in love with girl, girl screws around with dog boy but still loves vampire boy, dog boy gets angry, vampire boy marries girl, dog boy gets angry, vampire boy impregnates girl with demon spawn, dog boy gets angry, vampire boy eats demon spawn out of girl, dog boy vows to kill demon spawn, vampire boy is sad, girl turns into vampire girl, dog boy falls in love with demon spawn. Classic!
I have to start this post with a disclaimer…I’m not a twi-hard! However a few years ago my wife bought the first Twilight book and while flicking through the first few pages I quickly became enamored. It wasn’t amazingly written, the content was weak, the characters annoying… but it was like crack on paper. There was just something about it. I read all four books in under a month… again… nota twi-hard and I hope this doesn’t lower your opinion of me. In fact to be safe just set your opinion of me really low and then the only way for me to go is up.
We recently won tickets to see Breaking Dawn Part 1 at our local theatre and I couldn’t help but write a movie review about it. Not to mention it just broke the $500 million mark at the box office so it’s not going anywhere soon.
The film is directed by Bill Condon who also directed the Oscar nominated ‘Dream Girls’ along with ‘Gods and Monsters’. This seems like a weird move for him as a director but with the Twilight movies making butt loads of cash (industry term) he was probably well paid.
All the original cast returns along with the three main players making up the eternally abnormal love triangle: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. I’ll try and limit the spoilers but by this point most people have seen the previous movies, have heard the rumors or in most cases read the books.
The fourth book in the series is the most boring as there are no big climactic battles as with the other three. Instead it’s one reveal after another with convenient resolutions. To make it more interesting (and to continue to make butt loads of money) they split the movie into two parts and tweaked some scenes to add action so that the males in the audience don’t fall asleep.
Edward the sparkly vampire marries Bella in the opening twenty minutes and Jacob is angry about it, even more so when he discovers they plan to have sex which proves he really needs to get off the reservation occasionally. The newlyweds embark upon their honeymoon where Bella is quickly impregnated and the baby starts to grow and smash up her insides at an alarming rate. The rest of the movie is about the vampires and Jacob trying to figure out how to protect Bella and the baby from the rest of the wolf pack (who just seem cranky for no really good reason) and also save Bella from being torn apart by her little bundle of joy.
In the end, once the baby is ‘born’, it’s only due to the wolf’s policy surrounding their ability to mentally pee on their soul mates that averts an all out battle. It’s a convenient story tool but also a smart one as it brings the two factions together and ends their conflict allowing for the true enemy to emerge next November in the second part.
The acting was as stale as the other movies but it’s expected at this point. Pattinson delivers the best performance as you actually believe he’s upset and brooding most of the time. Lautner still seems like a little kid trying to act like an adult. Stewart is still socially awkward and has a tendency to leave her mouth hanging open. The supporting cast is great, from Bella’s friends (including Anna Kendrick who has far surpassed the role), to Billy Burke as her dad and the rest of the vampire family.
The CGI has been bashed around a little bit but I find the wolves and particularly the shift from human to wolf to be impressive. Sure we’re forced to forget that they rip their clothes every time they change and yet are still wearing clothes when they turn back but it’s still a nice effect.
The clear sparkling point of the movie was the last 30 seconds of film which gives us a nicely executed and creepy transition point to end on. I won’t ruin it because I’m sure after this review you’re going to run to your local theatre to check it out.
I still think the second movie was probably the strongest entry yet but this one had some sweet points and works nicely towards the final resolution. I’ll be interested to see how they turn the second part into something interesting.
Finally kudos to Summit Entertainment for making people wait a year before part 2 and therefore cashing in on several hundred million more dollars through merchandising and promos. If anyone has seen the upcoming Summit line up of films you’ll see they’re going to need all the help they can get.
I give this entry into the Twilight franchise’ 5 Sparkling Vampires out of 10 Angry Giant Wolves’. Worth a look if you’re a fan or just fancy a dramatically different take on the vampire mythology.
Image by Oliver Kurth, http://oliverkurth.blogspot.com/
With the recent discovery of an inhabitable planet outside our own solar system I thought it appropriate to write a blog post about Goldilocks. If you’re not familiar with the discovery then this may sound confusing. The planet is located in the ‘Goldilocks’ system so named because it’s not too hot, not too cold, but ‘just right’. Not only are astrologists smart they’re also creative…
This got me thinking about Goldilocks and the Three Bears and having not analyzed this fairy tale since I was a wee lad I was shocked at how a slightly skewed perspective can alter the very fabric of this whimsical little tale.
This brought me to the question: What is Goldilocks and the Three Bears really about? Is it a simple fairy tale warning youngsters of the dangers when you venture off alone? Or is it really a despicable home invasion gone horribly wrong? I’m inclined to believe the latter and will recount the evidence forthwith.
The problems with Goldilocks begin at it’s very conception in 1837. The first known text featured Goldilocks as an old woman which flies directly in the face of the ‘little girl wandering off alone’ scenario. The story was later altered to depict a poor little innocent girl who is almost eaten by three bears. But why? Could it be that the original tale was nothing more of a thief’s tale? An old crone and hornswoggler determined to relieve some hard working bears of their belongings?
In later interpretations the old woman transitioned into the little girl we all have come to know as Goldilocks. It’d be nice to say that this is where it all turned into a lovely little yarn of fabledom. Not so. Let’s look at the bears. There’s three of them; a momma bear, papa bear and a baby bear. Not only do they live in a furnished house but they also have the ability to speak. Not only are they not wild animals they’re also domesticated and as they can afford a house and furniture they’re probably also very hard working.
Goldilocks on the other hand, while walking alone in a forest, falls upon their house and rather than knocking or ringing the doorbell she kicks open the door and crosses the threshold. The nefarious human doesn’t stop there but proceeds to seek out food. This may lend to the theory that Goldilocks was homeless and possibly at the end of her proverbial tether. She finds bowls of porridge neatly laid out at the kitchen table and launches into eating their food. Common sense dictates that if food is laid out on a kitchen table in someone else’s house you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
Instead of realizing that she’s just made a terrible mistake and is possibly breaking the law she decides to head upstairs to take a nap. When was the last time you walked into a stranger’s house, headed upstairs and took a nap? Maybe mental instability ran in Goldilock’s family. It’s not until the family of bears return home and tell her to get the hell out that she realizes the gig is up and she runs from the house.
She later claims that she was afraid the bears would eat her but who was the real victim here? Is it the teenage girl who invades the home of hard working bears, steals their food and sleeps in their bed? Or is it the bears that own a lovely house in the forest and decide to take a leisurely stroll before breakfast? I think the moral positioning of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears is slanted in completely the wrong direction. Had the bears entertained the inclination to eat Goldilocks they would have been well within their rights to do so.
The true moral of the story should be as follows: Beware of mentally unstable little blonde girls. While they appear sweet and innocent they’re just as likely to break into your home and violate your living space.
I grew up watching inspector gadget and was always enamored by his niece Penny and her awesome book which was actually a high tech computer. Recently I finally got one of my own!
Well not exactly like that one. But I did get a Kobo Vox, the new e-reader tablet from Chapter’s Indigo. I’ve used it for almost two weeks now and believe I have enough experience with the device to write a review. I’m not a tech head by any means so don’t expect this review to be technologically sound.
An ipad, Sony tablet or even the Acer tablet are way out of my price range and to be realistic I wanted an e-reader more than anything. I’ve been using the Sony pocket e-reader for the last year and have absolutely loved it but wanted to upgrade to something with color and that can support basic apps. In all honesty an ipad would be far beyond what I need so bare that in mind.
The basics: It’s got a 7” multi-touch screen, 800mhz processor, Android 2.3, 8GB internal storage with the option to add a 32 GB SD card. It comes in a variety of colors and features the signature kobo quilted back.
Here’s my experience so far… as an e-reader the device is fantastic, it works smoothly, you can easily organize your library, tons of free books and it’s easy to download directly to the device via Wi-Fi. The page turn is smooth and the variety of options with font size, brightness, night reading, etc is excellent. I’ve heard complaints in other reviews but I’ve found no issues with the screen resolution or touch screen.
The processor is only 800mhz which works fine as long as you don’t have too many things running at once. I’ve downloaded and ran games, played streaming video and audio, and used the social networking apps. No problems and I’ve only had to force close once. The web browser is the same as any android phone and it works smoothly and features all the simple browser features you’d expect.
The device doesn’t have access to the android market but I hope this will come along soon. At the moment apps are only available via getjar which gives you access to a number of free apps and I’ve been able to find everything I need so far. There are no dedicated twitter or facebook apps and instead there are desktop links directly to the web version of each program. I’ve solved this by downloading tweetcaster which has worked great.
The battery lasts for around two days with fairly heavy use. The main issue I’ve found is that when on standby the device will sometimes freeze causing you to reset which is a minor inconvenience and doesn’t happen all the time.
If you’re looking for an e-reader first and a tablet second or even if you’re looking for a low end tablet then this device is perfect. If you’re looking for basic media playback, streaming video, gaming apps, and social media then the Vox will be ideal and retailing at only $200 it’s a great deal.
In the future I hope to see improvements to the firmware and access to the android market. If they added comixology to the Vox tomorrow I’d be completely satisfied with the device :)
And now I must go forth to defeat Dr Claw and his cat…
Warning! Somewhat explicit…
I’ve been stuck in a pot and boiled until I’m sterile. Okay that’s not entirely true but by all rights I should be sterile and as promised I’ll detail how I got here. My vasectomy was three days ago and it went something like this…
I had been told by the Doctor during my pre-procedural exam that it was safe for me to drive myself to and from the hospital which I did, endeavoring to arrive right on time I discovered every single parking lot in and around the hospital at capacity. It took me twenty five minutes to find a spot which was on a road…four blocks away. I hurried to the hospital where I was admitted and sent to Urology which is a tiny department hiding somewhere in the recesses behind Ambulatory Care.
I had two lovely nurses, Liz and Carla. Carla brought me an orange juice and a muffin to eat (I must have looked pale) and Liz took me through some basic questions and then asked me “This is for a circumcision, correct?”… I nearly choked on my muffin. ‘Vasectomy’ I corrected…and she laughed…I think she was joking.
A large native gentleman went in before me. He was truly a badass. Not only was he wearing shorts only two days after our first local snowfall but he was also wearing sunglasses…indoors…where there were no windows. His badassary was somewhat diminished when I found his name was Douglas. He went into the changing area, of which there were two, and then proceeded into the adjacent room. Two minutes later he started yelling in pain. At this point I was stripped from the waist down already and was trying to compose myself. His obvious pain wasn’t reassuring.
At this point I should explain that I’ve never had anything done to me in the medical sense. I’ve never undergone any dental procedures and never been admitted to a hospital since I was born. This lack of experience contributed to what’s coming so I thought it best to mention it.
Douglas left the room and got dressed while occasionally grunting in pain and then limped away. Liz came to tell me my time was up and they took me into a room with nice soft colors which felt calming. In direct contrast there were several sharp looking implements on the side table next to the operating bed. I lay down and they wrapped a warm towel around my genitals. They also informed me that Douglas had a different procedure, hence the screaming.
The nurses left and then the Doctor arrived with a resident who was there to discover whether he had a future as a Urologist. I’ll spare the details from here on but I’ll share enough to give you the gist.
Normally they inject you on both sides of your scrotum in order to freeze you so that you don’t feel anything when they start cutting holes. The feeling of a needle being injected through that particular area of the body is uncomfortable and is supposed to be followed by a burning sensation as the freezing takes effect. I felt no burning. As it turns out I’m part of the small percentage that is strangely resilient to local anesthetic. Having no previous medical experience I had no idea. The first incision the doctor made in order to extract the vas deferens I fully felt. I know because I distinctly remember swearing and then began to get woozy as my body decided I’d be better off asleep. However some sick part of me decided to stay awake and breathe through the whole thing.
It was a painful process and in the end I had six separate needles in order to fully freeze me. I ended up with three incisions instead of two because I have extremely uncooperative testicles. I felt very nauseous after and a little light headed so they let me hang around for a while and fed me more orange juice. After that I took my uncooperative testicles and walked (slowly) four blocks to my car and drove myself home.
I spent the last few days with a bag of frozen peas on my groin which definitely eased things but it’s still extremely uncomfortable…I’m hoping it’s because of the extra incision because by all rights I should be feeling almost normal again.
There’s nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than two strangers fiddling with your nether regions, pulling bits out that look like spaghetti and cutting and tying them. It was a necessary procedure and overall I believe it went well and I’m extremely happy it’s just a once in a life time sort of thing.
Another five days until I’m allowed to have sex and then another month before I get tested. The only silver lining I see is that I have to ejaculate twenty times before getting tested for a sperm count. Hopefully my wife’s up to it :)
It’s a wonder to think that the potential for human breeding can be removed with the snip of a (hopefully) very sharp pair of scissors. But it’s on this, apparently very common, precipice I find myself as later this week I will undertake minor surgery…in short, a vasectomy.
My wife Nadia and I decided that three kids were plenty and in order to protect our sanity for the remainder of our years we should put an end to the madness. While I would have much preferred her to ‘get fixed’ the recovery time was extensive and the surgery invasive. It’s not that I object to being sterilized it’s more a primal fear of having anyone hold a knife close to my testicles. I assume that this fear is universally shared as I don’t know anyone who likes sharp objects waved precariously around their nether regions.
For those of you who’ve never gone through this or don’t know about it the surgery is fairly simple and only takes around 20 mins. The most painful part, I’m told, is when they thrust a needle through my scrotum in order to numb it. Oh what fun…
The actual procedure involves the doctor cutting a small hole in the scrotum, pulling out the vasa deferentia (the two stringy bits that connect the testicles to the rest of you) and severing and then tying them in such a way that sperm can no longer venture forth through the seminal stream.
At this point the life of a sperm must become even more boring. Before there was always the possibility that they would be shot into oblivion, swim through the hostile inner workings of a female, refusing to ask directions, in an ongoing search to find an egg. Post vasectomy all they can do is wait until they’re re-absorbed into the body (also not the most thrilling of thoughts).
With only a few days before the knife drops I’m left with a sort of sadness at the prospect of losing the ability to contribute to the creation of human life. It’s like losing a super power…or at least it would be if every other male of the planet didn’t have the exact same power.
As I’ve never had to undergo any sort of medical procedure and have never been in a hospital since my birth I’d appreciate all and any prayers to any sort of deity (feel free to sacrifice an animal if you think it’ll help).
This was your pre-surgery blog post. Part 2 will be post surgery and will likely find me typing with a bag of frozen peas nestled across my groin.